SMU Studio

John Kitzman has been teaching at SMU since 1974. The studio has a strong orchestral orientation. Most of the students are preparing for careers in performance. The studio usually has between seven and ten students, in both undergraduate and graduate levels. There is a strong emphasis on the basics of playing, breathing, tone production, technical development, and clef studies in the first years. From there the student’s progress through a series of etude materials, orchestral excerpts, and solos.

In the first semester of each year students play in a weekly trombone repertoire class where a major orchestral work is assigned and the students are expected to learn and rehearse the passages. Mr. Kitzman then takes each section through a reading of the assigned music making corrections and giving insights about the performance of this work. In the second semester all brass students are combined to play a major orchestral work each week, led by the brass faculty, Tom Booth (Trumpet teacher), Greg Hustis (Horn teacher), and Mr. Kitzman.

Undergraduate Course of Study

During the first few years of study at SMU the trombone undergraduate student would be expected to learn the material from the following (partial) list.

  • Rochut: Melodious Etudes (Bk 1 & 2)
  • Fink: Studies in Legato for Bass Trombone and Tuba
  • Kopprasch: Selected Studies for Trombone (Bk 1)
  • Blazhevich: Studies in Clefs, Concert Duets
  • Masson: Douze Etudes Variees
  • Kreutzer: 16 Studies (Keith Brown)
  • S. Bach: Six Suites (Sonatas)
  • Lafosse: Suites of J.S. Bach
  • Kahila: Advanced Studies
  • Couillaud: Douze Etudes Melodiques
  • Plus work on lip slurs and all major and minor scales and arpeggios.

Bass trombonists will play much of the material listed above with the addition of some of the following repertoire.

  • Vernon: Daily Drills and Technical Studies for Trombone
  • Grigoriev: 24 Studies for Bass Trombone
  • Kopprasch: 60 Studies for BB flat Tuba
  • Tyrell: 40 Advanced Studies for Bflat Bass
  • Fink: Studies in Legato for Bass Trombone
  • Shoemaker: Legato Edutes for Tuba
  • Stephanovsky: 20 Studies for Bass Trombone
  • Otto Maenz: Zwanzig Studien fuer Bassposaune
  • S. Bach: Six Suites

Graduate Course of Study

A graduate student’s course of study will be determined after an evaluation of where the student is in terms of the basics and the material expected of undergraduate students. Emphasis will be on preparing that student to be competitive in finding a job upon graduation.